I'd like to take a moment to reminisce about what Michael Jackson meant to me. It is amazing to me that Michael has touched 5, or even more generations with this music, talent, charisma, and heart.
For me, the hit Thriller came out the year I was born, (I know, I'm a youngen) and it did not make waves for me the way that it did for others, (although I do have the CD). I first remember Michael Jackson at 4 years old sitting in the Universal Studios Theatre when MJ's Thriller music video and 3d show came out. I was in awe at the bat flying around the room, and my heart melted at the site of the beautiful (then black) man with that curly hair swaying from eye to eye, dancing and singing etc. I knew then I was in love!
By the early 90's, my family life was in trouble. My parents annouced their divorce, which had a devastating effect on me, as we were the only family in the neighborhood that would become divorced (we lived in KY at the time, and they are always behind the times) and I needed an outlet. My neighbor friend, was all into music, and then I was introduced to the CASSETTE tape.
I saved my money and with it I bought my very first peice of music: Michael Jackson - Dangerous! This isn't as popular as the rest of his albums do to the cancellation of his tour in 1994. Songs include Black & White, Heal the World, the Free Willy Song, Jam, Dangerous, etc.
I was in love. My brother will kill me for saying this but I quickly developed a need to choriograph dance moves to his songs. I recruited my brother and we made up our first dance to Black or White, complete with a black piece of paper we would hold up when the word Blakc came up, and so forth for the White. (Come on, we were little, and had no idea that it was a racial thing)
I could never get enough of Michael Jackson. I could not go to bed without falling asleep to my tape player with MJ in the background or anything.
In the midst of the family drama, the fights, the custody battles, the name calling, I would simply diappear into my bedroom and blast out the background noise with MJ! (o.k. maybe a little Wilson Phillips too) It distracted me from reality. I began really paying attention to the words of his songs. SOme of them really made me feel at ease, as if MJ knew what I was going through, as if he couldrelate to my pain, and so I began jotting down the lyrics to every single song (before you could google them of course) and learned every single solitary word to each song.
I remember in particular, the night that I found out my grandma Nacy had passed, I turned on MJ and listened to "Keep the FAith" and had a dream about MJ and my grandma together, as if they were telling me it would be ok.
Years would pass, MJ, quickly faded into the background when all the scandals came along, but I never one turned my back on him. I would always argue on his defense if it came up in topic of conversation, and I always could relate to the demons inside that he dealt with.
Yesterday, finding out that not only "I" had lost him, but the whole world had too. I feel guilty because I morn his loss, in some cases even much more than some of my own family. For he was always there when I needed him, he never let me down, and his words, presecence, and incredible talent would always bring me to smile.
Last night I actually dug up the tape, Dangerous, almost in shock that I had kept it. I put it in, an it instantly brought me back to the old days, the empowering words that kept me going through my childhood were instantly there, and it reminded me that I am a truly lucky human being in this world, and that MJ will always be a part of me. Thanks for putting up with all the facebook and twitter posts last night.
RIP Michael Jackson, you will be missed, and NEVER forgotten.